As I navigate the many roles I am blessed to be in as a woman, I am thinking about my mom’s experiences and my experience of her throughout the years, increasingly, in depth and in frequency. And I have to say, my compassion grows and grows, because it’s hard showing up 𝑑𝑎𝑦𝑖𝑛𝑎𝑛𝑑𝑑𝑎𝑦𝑜𝑢𝑡 when all the lights are green, let alone when they always seem to be turning yellow, or are already on red. I imagine how much my mom carried all on her own, literally and figuratively, physically, and emotionally, and mentally, and my heart breaks. She has been through significant seasons having not been loved well. That makes the load she carried so much heavier. That’s the part that tears me up. That’s the part that breaks my heart. Not the weight of the load. It’s the reason why it was so heavy. She is so strong, yet I wish her load had been lighter. I think she could have showed up differently. I know she would have, because I see her best parts despite the weight that competed to knock her down. I see her heart. And it’s beautiful and resilient and tender. As I make my way through these years of having a young family, my awareness of the grief, fear, and loneliness she endured is heightened. I’m where she once was. It’s painful, yes. It’s a privilege, too—to now be able to look back, search within, and move through with more tools, in hopes to be better and change our family for generations to come. It’s an honor to have the opportunity to love her well now. She deserves it. She always has. I have a feeling being loved well is the secret ingredient to living our best lives and becoming our best selves. Not material things. Not letters and titles behind our government name. Not even being liked. But being loved well—that’s the ticket. It’s a tall order given our brokenness, but I believe God created us to be loved well, starting with His divine love for us, and He won’t leave us hanging Earthside; He even came down to show us the perfect example.
Jennifer J. Jones